Smart Water Technologies Help Cities Get Smarter

Forward-thinking towns and cities are leveraging IoT technology to emerge as smart cities. What each have in common is the intelligent use of integrated solutions and a common set of goals to improve city infrastructure, create more efficient and cost effective municipal services, and keep citizens safe and more engaged in the community.

A recent MIT Enterprise Forum panel brought together experts from business, education and government in a lively discussion centered around addressing the inherent challenges cities face with water quality, safety and efficiency. Essentially, how to help cities get smarter with their resources.

The panel, entitled “Can Smart Water Technologies Quench the Thirst of our Modern Cities?” and moderated by Galen Nelson of Massachusetts’ clean energy agency Mass CEC, offered insight into the goals, projects, and emergent technologies set to address what promises to become an increasingly pressing global challenge. Experts like John Sullivan of the Boston Water and Sewer Commission, Professor David Reckhow of UMass and the Water Innovation Network for Sustainability Small Systems, and Scott McCarley Sr. Director of Solution Management for Smart Cities at PTC shared insight and perspective on topics like distributed water systems and informed city management systems.

Sensors and Solutions Turning Cities Smart

Today 30% of the water in city pipes is being lost to leaks. Cities, burdened by burgeoning costs and declining revenues, are forced to deal with aged existing infrastructures that include pipe corrosion and water filtration. With a 90+ audience looking on, PTC’s Scott McCarley shared the role of IoT, ThingWorx, and partner companies already building innovative solutions to solve the toughest challenges.

McCarley gave the audience a glimpse into some of the solutions and how IoT platforms like ThingWorx set the foundation on which real-time, real-world applications have been developed that are helping cities build their Smart capabilities. In France, 20% of drinkable water is spoiled by leakage attributable to aging pipes. By implementing smart water grid solutions, a city can reduce consumption and thus save money.

Companies like Aquamatix, are implementing wastewater facility systems, equipping cities with real time sensor monitoring, and building ‘greywater’ water recycling capabilities around the world.

Another partner, Itron, Inc, is currently developing water main leak detection systems. In the not distant future, augmented reality will play a larger part in these answers, offering a literal view into real-time operating conditions, and the location of pipes and leaks under our streets. .

Adoption and the role of ROI

A smart city project must be financially sustainable. It is not enough to think about funding for just the initial stages of a project, as any project must live long enough to change the life of the city.

According to McKinsey Global Institute, $ 1.7T is the estimated annual potential economic impact of the IoT for cities. ROI drives projects. It’s got to make economical sense to get a project off the ground. As more cities begin to implement solutions, the demand for efficiencies and cheaper services will grow. McCarley noted that platforms like ThingWorx enable systemic efficiencies while accelerating scale across existing systems, disparate assets, and communications networks.

John Sullivan from the BWSC is looking to advanced technology much like the kind McCarley described to help Boston take the lead on water efficiency. Boston is one of the first cities to install smart water meters; by tri-angulating data from multiple meters, analytics detects system leakages.

The panel agreed this kind of discussion helped to frame a more comprehensive storyline and global need that expands beyond water.  With just minutes left in the evening, the panel took questions from an audience clearly hungry to hear more from the panelists. You can watch the full recording of the panel session, Smart Water—Smart Cities: A Cleantech Event.

Smart cities represent a unique opportunity to apply the power of IoT to everyday environments, to improve the quality of the very roads, buildings, and public services that we use each day.  Join McCarley for a Smart City webcast on March 16 at 11 am EST  to discuss how IoT can bring value to utility and energy stakeholders.

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Thingworx Blog – ThingWorx

Where to Win with IoT: Use Cases, Verticals, and Opportunities

Everyone knows the IoT is growing. Whether you look at funding, data generated, or market acceptance, you can see how IoT is transforming the business landscape. But where are the best opportunities, and how should companies position themselves to take advantage of them?

Where are the opportunities? Everywhere

If you look at the opportunities by market segment, Automotive is by far the strongest, particularly in OEM Telematics and After-Market Telematics (numbers from ABI Research). Together, these segments make up nearly 47 percent of the estimated 202o market of $ 196.5 billion for IoT software and service. Fleet management is also large, showing the near-term importance of transportation in general.

Does this mean you should focus your IoT efforts around penetrating this potentially profitable vertical? Not at all. The IoT software and service market will reward those who focus on their industry expertise—and the market for every segment will grow dramatically.

Market segments like agriculture and user-based insurance will grow at an average annual rate of around 40 percent. Home security and video surveillance will together be a $ 26 billion market.

Other analysts, including Gartner and McKinsey, partition the market somewhat differently, but they too see growth in various segments, from Smart Cities to healthcare. The factory floor will be particularly significant. Smart Cities includes such things as smart commercial buildings, public services, and utilities, and has seen strong growth in number of connected things.

Takeaway: there’s plenty of the IoT market to go around. Worry less about the size and growth rate of a particular segment and more about what benefit you will bring to your customers.

How do you take advantage of your specific opportunity? An IoT platform

The hidden transformation IoT enables is building the connection between operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT). In most businesses OT and IT are separate sides of the house and do their business largely separately.

The data flows from connected assets, products, and services will make it essential for these two groups to work together. The only way to achieve that in a reasonable amount of time, with minimum disruption, is to base the integration on a capable IoT platform.

According to both Gartner and ABI, IoT Service Provider revenue is expected to grow at an annual average of 17 percent to 2020—but the share of that revenue related to the use of IoT platforms at 21 percent. IoT-platform-enabled providers will grab a larger and larger share of the market.

Takeaway: support your efforts with an IoT platform, and ensure that your customers get the benefit of your expertise quickly and efficiently.

How do you succeed in this new world? Be a smart mover

Being a first mover is good. Being a smart mover is even better. No one will survive in this market alone. Everyone must partner, team, and be a member of an ecosystem. With an IoT platform to enable and support integration, you can succeed.

Join us for an upcoming webinar that will highlight the size and scope of the global IoT market, technologies and capabilities that are key differentiators, emerging and actionable settings and use cases in the market.

The post Where to Win with IoT: Use Cases, Verticals, and Opportunities appeared first on ThingWorx.

Thingworx Blog – ThingWorx

Secure Automated Vehicles Fuse Security With Functional Safety

I’m excited about the opportunity we have before us to lay the groundwork for safer automated vehicles, as outlined recently in U.S. President Barack Obama’s piece for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Self-driving, yes, but also safe.”  I see a clear path for fully autonomous vehicles to operate safely for the protection of everyone in and around the vehicle. Of course, no one company can do this alone. A job of this magnitude takes an entire ecosystem.

In the collaborations forming around architecting automated vehicles, automakers are realizing that they must ensure functional safety at all levels — hardware, software and network — from car to cloud. That’s why I am pleased that the Intel IoT ecosystem is working within the automotive industry to shift thinking about what we do today in order to enable the autonomous future of tomorrow.


Functional Safety, Meet Security

An infographic showing automated driving.

We see the future as one in which the automotive industry fuses functional safety with cybersecurity. The two are interrelated and mutually dependent. Current ISO 26262 guidelines for functional safety do not fully comprehend this interrelationship. SAE J3061 has emerged as a great start to the guidelines for automotive cybersecurity, however the industry will need to establish some framework for implementation, or a reference architecture and set of best-known methods that demonstrate this fusion of safety and cybersecurity.

When I speak with automotive industry leaders around the world, I am often surprised by the widely varying perspectives on these two topics. Some believe that functional safety considerations beyond the in-vehicle architectures are not necessary. However, in a world moving quickly to predominately connected vs. not connected vehicles, the effects of security and functional safety concepts in the automotive network infrastructure and data centers from an end-to-end consideration are paramount. Security vulnerabilities will open the doors to safety concerns. What is really needed is a secure end-to-end scalable architecture.


Scaling out Automated Vehicle Safety

An image of vehicles of a freeway representing vehicle-to-vehicle communciation.

We need partners and industry standards to scale. The Intel IoT ecosystem understands the complexity of fusing functional safety with security. From researching and developing business models with OEMs to collaborating with regulatory bodies, members of the Intel IoT ecosystem are helping guide functional safety for automated vehicles. Add to this the cybersecurity and data center expertise of Intel and you have a solid foundation for a secure end-to-end solution.

As with any nascent technology, the need for automakers to differentiate their offerings, combined with the newness of the automated driving market, is making standardization a back-burner priority. Here at Intel, we believe collaboration is the logical answer. That is why Intel remains a leader, supporter and contributor to key industry consortiums and relevant standards bodies, and we have actively contributed on both ISO 26262 and SAE J3061.


The Road to Autonomous

A family pushing a stroller walks across the street in front of an automated vehicle.

Fueled by decades of success, the Intel IoT ecosystem is paving the road ahead for the automated vehicles of the future. That is what happens when innovation and collaboration merge on the road to fully automated vehicles. Intel is a logical trusted advisor to the auto industry for safety and security — together we can make a better future.

To learn more about the road ahead for fully automated vehicles, visit For more on Intel IoT developments, subscribe to our RSS feed for email notifications of blog updates, or visit and Twitter.


The post Secure Automated Vehicles Fuse Security With Functional Safety appeared first on IoT@Intel.


Jump Start Into The Internet Of Everything

We are clearly in a time of personal connectivity, with unprecedented amounts of information available via smartphones, Internet streaming, and devices like cars and fridges that can communicate insights in real time. These technologies enable virtual control, for instance giving us a remote view of what is left in the fridge for dinner or even enabling the fridge to place its own milk order before it expires.

When it comes to monitoring our daily activities, we are spoiled for choice. Entire industries and brands have sprung up overnight, and many are already trying to define the next wave of innovation or risk becoming redundant by competitors and newer devices.

While for decades businesses have had access to data from devices that, for example, monitor machines or equipment locations, the interpretation of that data to produce insights and actions has been largely human driven. In addition, the constraints of operating in data silos resulted in manual system interactions, interpretations, or compiling reports from various data sources that were already out of date by the time they were received. In addition, data analysis was highly restrictive, did not support scenario planning, and often required manual intervention to activate subsequent business processes.

Transforming organizations

Today things are very different, and many customers I have talked to in recent weeks see big opportunities in making smarter use of what they already have, rather than fundamentally transforming their manufacturing and logistics assets. Examples include:

  • Ensuring vending machines are working and well stocked, especially with extreme weather events
  • Increasing staff vehicle sharing in remote areas
  • Gaining insights into the fresh food supply chain logistics network.

Nothing highlights making smarter use of what you already have than the Hamburg Port Authority. For the Hamburg Port Authority, the challenge was clear – how to double in capacity without expanding the port?

The keys to solving the Hamburg Port Authority’s capacity challenge are connecting stakeholders, devices, and sensors to automate processes, alerts, and generate actions. These connections enable them to detect pressures to the smooth flow of the port and determine how to relieve them before they can cause bottlenecks. This story reminds me of the pain of trying to get to the airport most mornings!

Getting the whole business involved

It’s always nice to hear how organizations are innovating with the aid of IoT and transforming their business with greater insights to deliver values across multiple streams. It seems nearly every organization is dedicating time and effort into thinking about the connected world, but what gets me really excited is when everyday employees get involved in the solutions’ design, deployment, and adoption. Employees understand the deep business process and can help identify the not-always-obvious opportunities that may be unique to your business. That’s why having their input is more likely to create solutions that succeed, deliver better value, and achieve your outcomes.

For more on how the Port of Hamburg solved their challenge, see the eBook How the Port of Hamburg Doubled Capacity with Digitization.

Internet of Things – Digitalist Magazine

Disrupt Or Be Disrupted: Why Platform, Not Pipeline, Will Save Your Business

Rapidly pacing the front of the room, voice bellowing, arms gesticulating, you’d think Erich Joachimsthaler, founder of Vivaldi Partners, was doing his best drill sergeant impersonation from Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket.

Alas, Mr. Joachimsthaler was nowhere near marine barracks; he was kicking off a pretty great Jam Session called “Disrupt or Be Disrupted: Embracing Digital in B2B.” Hosted by the Institute for the Study of Business Markets and SAP Hybris, the day-long event served as a stark wake-up call that digital disruption is here, and companies need to act now to reinvent their business models if they want to remain competitive.

And the primary driver to remain competitive, according to Joachimsthaler?

Evolve from the pipeline to the platform.

“Digital connectivity has been a slow uptick and right now, thanks to technologies like IoT and artificial intelligence, we have reached a very unique spot where everything goes haywire and connects,” said Joachimsthaler.  “You have to evolve from the pipeline to the platform.”

Certainly, the adoption of technology has fundamentally changed the productivity of companies and created better products. But evolving from this traditional “pipeline” business of making widgets to one where complementary services huddle around a platform-like community is actually the way to go.

Apple, for example, has become one of most important companies not because of the iPhone but because it has an app store, a platform where 40,000 developers market their apps. “We get value from the platform because we can download apps and connect with others,” said Joachimsthaler. “The platform is where the value is created.”

On the other hand, Nokia collapsed because it didn’t have a platform – not because their phone was inferior.

Other companies, like Uber, create value for very little cost.

“They match drivers with riders on their platform,” said Joachimsthaler. “That’s connectivity.” Uber Radio can now integrate with a rider’s Spotify playlists. Clearly, Uber isn’t thinking about building better cars, it’s creating value, an interchange, according to Joachimsthaler.

John Deere produces amazing products, yet even for a business model dependent on the pipeline, Deere is also making a run for the platform, thanks to IoT technology and a cloud platform based in in-memory computing. Its newfangled planter machines, for example, have 77 processors, 6 million lines of code, and connect operators with remote farm managers and other machines.

As a result, Deere has brought together seed companies and machine companies. Researchers are also connected to the John Deere platform. Value is no longer created by the tractor but by all these different parties.

“The more people and different parts of ecosystems on the platform, the better the value creation,” said Joachimsthaler, who believes you need the following ingredients to make a great platform:

  • Facilitates interactions between parties
  • Supports open, third-party developers or ecosystem
  • Creates value on top of technology
  • Creates value for all parties involved (social currency)
  • Has network effects

Turns out GoPro has created the perfect platform, and its story is perhaps the most striking of all because it found its success in the dwindling digital camera market. Yet in only 10 years, GoPro’s founder and CEO, Nick Goodman, became the youngest American billionaire and his company retains a 45% market share.

How did he do it if he didn’t have better product? Platform!

Not only does GoPro capture shots well, it’s also a perfect way of sharing those shots. GoPro automatically processes the best shots and, at the press of a button, they go to the cloud and pretty much any social platform you want. Friends around the world see the GoPro branding and then guess what? They want a GoPro, too.

“The value of the product is not the pipeline or better product,” said Joachimsthaler. “The value is in creating the network. That network creates your marketing.”

Get more insight on why digital disruption is key to success today, see the infographic The Disruptive Effects of Digital Business Models.

This article originally appeared on SAP Community.

Internet of Things – Digitalist Magazine